Waitakere began the day with news that regular keeper Richard Gillespie would take no part in the match having injured his hip. Dan Robinson took his place in goal with Stefan Marinovich coming into the squad as cover. With Danny Hay, Jonathan Perry and Allan Pearce all out injured, this was the last thing coach Chris Milicich needed.
The first real threat in an otherwise scrappy opening quarter of an hour came when Danko Koprivcic turned on the edge of the area and shot over the bar.
That signaled a period of sustained Waitakere pressure with a succession of corners and half chances for the home side, none of which were put away. Aside from the odd breakaway it was one way traffic, with Neil Emblen driving a free kick towards goal only to draw a great save from Chris Marsh.
Benji Totori then went close to scoring one of the best goals in the history of the NZFC. Collecting the ball in his own half the diminutive Solomon Islands striker turned left and right on a mazy run that left 4 or 5 defenders in his wake, only to see his shot go over the bar from 15 metres.
Manawatu went closest in the 39th minute through Adam Cowan when he could only play a loose ball into the side netting after a misdirected header from a Waitakere defender led to a good save from Dan Robinson.
Moments after that Cowan was made to rue his miss when Danko Koprivcic opened the scoring after playing a tidy one two with Krishna, nutmegging his opponent and coolly slotting home from 10 metres.
That halftime score should have doubled in the 51st minute but somehow Koprivcic contrived to miss the target when put clear by another great Totori run and pass.
The home fans didn’t have to wait long though, and again it was Totori the provider as he showed too much pace and trickery in beating 3 down the right wing before squaring for Paul Seaman to drive home off the underside of the crossbar.
Manawatu were beaten at this point and it became a question of would Waitakere pick up the pace or be content with their days work. Roy Krishna answered that question with his third and again it came down the right wing as this time Koprivcic played provider with a run and accurate cross for the Fijian international to slide home beyond Chris Marsh.
The visitors never gave up but really they were never in it. The pace of Krishna and Totori caused trouble all day while Bale, Seaman and Butler had control of the midfield throughout. Dan Robinson was forced into a great save when Jan Weissenfeldt headed a free kick goal ward and another shot was deflected over in the dying moments but other than that, the Waitakere custodian wasn’t overly troubled standing in for an injured Richard Gillespie.
Waitakere United 3
Goals: D Koprivcic 41st, P Seaman 52nd, R Krishna 68th,
Yellow cards: R Krishna 36th, J Butler 72nd,
YoungHeart Manawatu 0
Yellow cards: J Hayne 19th, P Yackson 53rd,
Danny Robinson, Jason Rowley Neil Sykes, Aaron Scott, Daniel Koprivcic (Kayne Vincent 71st), Benji Totori, Roy Krishna, Chris Bale, Neil Emblen, Jake Butler, Paul Seaman (Jeff Campbell 67th)
Chris Marsh, Adam Cowan, Pablo Yackson, Jan Weissenfeldt, Matt Kennedy (Leo Shin 76th), Jason Hayne, Nathan Cooksley, Gustavo Saralegui, Scott Robson, Seong-Bae Park (Isaac Duker 55th), Raffaele de Gregorio